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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html


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Chapter I. — A New Phasis in Indian History.

THE close of the war of 1812 not only ended the Indian hostilities, but also initiated a thorough geographical exploration of the Mississippi valley; the extent, fertility, and resources of which, were then fully ascertained. Noble rivers, the names of which had been for years only known by their connection with romantic tales, and the narratives of adventurous exploits, now attracted attention by the facilities they afforded for navigation. The entire valley seemed to be one vast series of plains, reticulated by streams, which poured their resistless currents into the Mexican gulf. These plains, once the haunts of uncounted herds of deer, elk, and buffalo, were now deserted by them, and elicited interest only by their fertility, and by their adaptiveness to the purposes of agriculture.

Changes of such a striking character, and apparently fraught with such disastrous consequences to the Indian tribes, produced, however, a favorable effect. It was the triumph of the arts of peace. This was the beginning of a new era in their history. The chase, it was seen, must, perforce, be abandoned, and agricultural and industrial pursuits adopted. But the question was, how could this be done by a people so reduced

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in circumstances, so destitute of all apparent means as the Indians? At this time, the population of the Eastern States began to emigrate to the West in renewed force, creating a demand for those fertile lands, which, being denuded of their game, were no longer useful to hunter tribes. By the cession of these lands to the United States Government, the Indians were provided, through the medium of money annuities, with the means of procuring the requisites necessary to their advancement in the social scale. They became, in a few years, permanently possessed of cattle, implements of husbandry, and schools: a life of industry was commenced. Thus, what appeared, at first, to have sealed their destruction, was in reality, the means of their elevation and deliverance.

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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html
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